CRICKET is a simple game, and today’s final instalment of the Orange City versus Centrals Orange District Cricket Association first grade clash at Wade Park will come down to whichever side nails the game’s one percenters.
Those little plays that don’t often get headlines, but are the plays that win games.
The plays the can turn a season.
After the opening day’s cricket last Saturday at Wade Park, Centrals are in a commanding position after posted 198 with the bat and then striking late in the day with the ball to have Orange City reeling a touch at 2-13.
Stuart Naden (0) and Adam Cowden (two) are the Warriors already back in the shed thanks to Mark Wiegold (2-6).
For Centrals, currently in fourth place 18 points adrift from the competition’s top three, today’s equation is simple: win to remain in the hunt for a play-off berth come March.
To do that, Centrals skipper Jarrod Simpson knows exactly what he wants from his side.
“It’s just about going out there and doing the little things that wins cricket games; bowl at the stumps, take our catches and build pressure in the field,” Simpson said.
“We just need to do those simple things really, really well.”
The side’s batsmen competed hard to score 198 on day one last week.
It’s now over to the bowlers.
Simpson, however, believes today’s luck hinges on Centrals’ fielding, more so than the work of his bowling attack.
“Dan Sandford has bowled well lately but just hasn’t had a lot of luck, and that’s probably because we’ve dropped a few. Hopefully we can hang on to a few and his luck turns,” Simpson said.
The philosophy of the defending champs is easy to catch on to.
The keep-it-simple Centrals are going back to basics.
On the other hand, for City, chasing today will make their mission the toughest of the 2012-13 season so far.
“We’ve got to fight as hard as we possibly can. We want to stay at the top come Christmas,” skipper Dave Boundy said, with a win against Centrals and an upset victory by Kinross over CYMS set to move Orange City to the top of the ladder.
“We’re not out of it. Strange things happen in cricket. It’ll be a fairly competitive day of cricket.”
Boundy said one of the greatest challenges in cricket is chasing a total down.
And like Centrals did on day one around Simpson’s innings of 73, Boundy said his side needed one of its big guns to fire and the rest to chip in.
“Generally sides that are able concentrate, work hard and apply themselves with the bat are able to chase good totals,” he said.
Boundy said it was good to see the defending premiers getting a few more regulars backing, adding the competition “needs a strong Centrals team” to ensure a tough first grade premiership.
Today’s play begins at 1pm.
TIME TO STAND UP: Centrals’ spearhead Daniel Sandford will play a key role as his side attempts to dismiss Orange City at Wade Park today. The game looms as a must-win encounter for the ODCA defending champions.
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